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How COVID-19 spreads through aerosols?

Research has found that people with the virus can expel pieces of it when they exhale, talk, or cough.

Those tiny viral pieces, called microdroplets, can be so small that they’re able to float in the air and potentially travel a distance of multiple meters.

Some microdroplets can travel across an entire room.

People can then inhale those minuscule viral particles, then contract COVID-19 and get sick.

According to the paper sent to the WHO, previous evidence suggests that Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and the flu can also be spread through microdroplets that can potentially travel far distances indoors and be inhaled.

It seems that COVID-19 behaves similarly, but experts still are not sure how often people contract the disease via this type of airborne transmission.

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Testing the tests

Every COVID-19 test currently (and legally) available in the United States has been approved by the FDA under the agency’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)Trusted Source protocol.

The EUA permits the FDA to “allow unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life threatening diseases or conditions caused by chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threat agents when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.”

That has allowed novel coronavirus tests to quickly hit the market without the research and testing normally required for FDA approval.

To date, the FDA has approved 130 different RT-PCR, antigen, and antibody tests for the new coronavirus.

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The scoop on Antibody Tests

As the name suggests, these tests look for antibodies made by your immune system in response to an infection with the new coronavirus.

Antibody tests are not diagnostic tests.

“Antibodies can take several days or weeks to develop after you have an infection and may stay in your blood for several weeks after recovery,” according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source. “Because of this, antibody tests should not be used to diagnose an active coronavirus infection.”

Antibody tests also aren’t terribly useful.

Ideally, a positive antibody test would tell you that you’ve recovered from COVID-19 or a coronavirus infection and have immunity from future infections, allowing you to return to work, travel, and socialization without the risk of transmitting the infection or becoming sick again yourself.

However, researchers don’t yet know whether the presence of antibodies means that you have immunity, whether you could still get sick from a different strain of the virus, or how long immunity lasts.

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Two Tests that Diagnose an Infection

Diagnostic tests detect active infections. This is the test you want if you think you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

There are currently two types of diagnostic tests available.

  • The molecular real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test detects the virus’s genetic material.
    The antigen test detects specific proteins on the surface of the virus.
  • The RT-PCR nasopharyngeal tests are more widely used and more familiar. Most involve sticking a 6-inch swab deep into your nose to collect virus samples to test.

However, some more recently approved RT-PCR tests seek to avoid the discomfort associated with the nasopharyngeal swab tests by allowing samples to be collected via a shallow swab of the nose or by testing saliva for the presence of the virus.

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How Accurate Are COVID-19 Diagnostic and Antibody Tests?

Experts say the current diagnostic tests for the new coronavirus are highly accurate while antibody tests are not as trustworthy.
There are two types of common diagnostic tests — one looks for the coronavirus’ genetic material, while the antigen test searches for proteins.
Experts say any tests must be done properly to be effective.

The most common tests used to diagnose an infection with the novel coronavirus are almost 100 percent effective if administered correctly.

However, the same can’t be said of tests to determine if you’ve already had the disease and have developed antibodies.

Experts say diagnostic testing is one of the most powerful public health tools for fighting the spread of the coronavirus.

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Can shoes spread the COVID-19 virus?

Yes.

The likelihood of COVID-19 being spread on shoes and infecting individuals is very low.

As a precautionary measure, particularly in homes where infants and small children crawl or play on floors, consider leaving your shoes at the entrance of your home.

This will help prevent contact with dirt or any waste  that could be carried on the soles of shoes.

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Can cold weather and snow kill the new coronavirus?

No.

There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases.

The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather.

The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.

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Can the new coronavirus be transmitted through mosquito bites?

No.

To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes

The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.